Wednesday, August 29, 2012
2012 Big East top 25 countdown: No. 3
By Andrea Adelson
Time to move on in our preseason countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East.
If you need a quick refresher, I am projecting the best of the best in the league for this upcoming season, and I am including freshmen and transfers.
No. 3 Ray Graham, RB, Pitt
Twitter handle: @raygraham1
Making the case: If Graham was completely healthy, he would be the No. 1 player on this list. But as I have said a few times this week, there really is no telling how good Graham is going to be this year. If preseason practices are any indication, then we may not see as much of Graham as we initially thought we would at the outset of the season. Maybe our expectations for him were too high, as a running back coming off major knee surgery in less than a year.
But I think we all remember how good Graham is, given what he did to start last season. So do college football observers, who have him on preseason watch lists for the Doak Walker Award (best running back), Maxwell Award (best player) and Walter Camp Award (best player). If he returns anywhere near that form at some point during the season, then it is a safe bet that everybody will be calling him one of the best players in the Big East. If not the best player in the Big East.
So with this ranking, I am banking on the Graham of old showing up at some point this season. At this point, it looks like a risky proposition but the football season is long and Graham is determined.
No. 4 B.J. Daniels, QB, USF
No. 5 Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
No. 6 Trevardo Williams, DE, UConn
No. 7 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
No. 8 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville
No. 9 Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
No. 10 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn
No. 11 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF
No. 12 Montel Harris, RB, Temple
No. 13 DeDe Lattimore, LB, USF
No. 14 Sio Moore, LB, UConn
No. 15 Walter Stewart, DE, Cincinnati
No. 16 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
No. 17 Mario Benavides, C, Louisville
No. 18 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt
No. 19 Scott Vallone, NT, Rutgers
No. 20 Ryan Griffin, TE, UConn
No. 21 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville
No. 22 Alec Lemon, WR, Syracuse
No. 23 Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers
No. 24 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn
No. 25 Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse